Good Corruption, Good Wasta?

Usually for an anti-corruption committee to work properly with regards to political accountability in a government, it needs to work independently of the government, particularly the executive branch, particularly the Prime Minister. Now the logical assumption is that the executive would prefer such a committee to operate under its umbrella so that it keeps a ball and chain on its doings, whereas the executive’s opposition will tend to favor independence of such a committee in order for it to hold the executive accountable.

Yesterday in Parliament the exact opposite happened.

The government, lead by Prime Minister Bakhit pushed for an independent committee that would have the absolute freedom to investigate anyone in government including him and his cabinet, while deputies from the opposition argued the opposite: that the proposed anti-corruption committee should operate under the umbrella of a branch of government.

MP Ghaleb Zuâ??bi even walked out in protest at the suggestion that the anti-corruption committee be separated from the Prime Ministry, arguing it was â??unconstitutionalâ?.

I haven’t been able to wrap my brains around this. It just didn’t make sense to me.

Moreover, “wasta” was debated as part of the draft law. The differences that arose there was that some MPs felt wasta was acceptable if it was being used to help the poor and ensure their rights are upheld. Also that the penalties be imposed on officials accepting wasta and not those who “mediate to get services for others.”

I don’t know…do I need to point out the obvious or should I just end this post here and leave it up to the imagination of the reader?


Your Two Piasters: